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CHICAGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - A homosexual fired from his job at his parish church is filing a discrimination suit in federal court against his parish and the archdiocese of Chicago.
Colin Colette was director of worship and music for 17 years at Holy Family parish in Inverness, Illinois, until 2014, when he was fired. The state had just legalized same-sex civil marriage, and Colette updated his Facebook status showing pictures of his engagement to another man. A parishioner saw the pictures, and they were forwarded to Cdl. Francis George, then head of the archdiocese.
The cardinal sent a letter to his pastor, Fr. Terry Keehan, who demanded Colette submit his resignation or be fired.
ChurchMilitant.com reported last November that Colette and Sandor Demkovich, another man fired for similar reasons at a different parish, filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as with state and county human rights departments.
The archdiocese refused to participate in the informal mediation phase, opting to let the complaints progress to a court.
In both Colette and Demkovich's cases, they maintain parishioners and pastors knew of their active homosexual lifestyle.
"He knew we were getting married," Demkovich claimed. "He asked me in July 2013 if we were getting married, and he was very encouraging about it."
He also alleges the pastor told another parishioner he thought Demkovich and his partner "were going to keep this quiet and not make it public."
Their attorney stated, "We once again see a pattern of acceptance and inclusion by the parish pastor, and the parish congregation in general, of an openly gay qualified employee suddenly reversed as soon as he enters into a legal marriage."
As ChurchMilitant.com has reported, priests and bishops in the United States have a history of covering up homosexual activity, as long as the men involved "keep things quiet."
After Colette's firing in 2014, the archdiocese released the following statement:
Pastors hire and dismiss all parish personnel and govern according to the teachings of the Church and archdiocesan policies. ... Those that serve as ministers of the Church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the Church.
The present archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, hasn't made a statement.
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